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Meditation reduces heart attack by almost 50%, study published in American Heart Association journal finds
by Global Good News staff writer
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27 November 2012
In a study recently published in a journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation was found to reduce stroke, heart attack, and death by almost 50% in patients with cardiovascular disease.
The study, 'Stress Reduction in the Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease', was published in November in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
The American Heart Association, said Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, 'is the largest association in the country for heart health and probably the leading in the world in their journal Circulation, quality, and outcomes.'
Dr Schneider, Director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention and author of the book Total Heart Health, was the lead researcher in the study.
The study attracted a lot of media and scientific attention, he said, going on to describe some of the key findings.
Dr Schneider showed a graph that compared, side-by-side, the rate of heart attacks, strokes, and death in the group practising Transcendental Meditation and in the control group, who received conventional heart disease education instead.
When you look at the average over the course of the whole ten-year study, he said, 'there was a 48% reduction in risk for death, heart attack, and stroke in the Transcendental Meditation group.'
Other important results may help to explain why Transcendental Meditation has such a profound effect on heart health.
'The second finding helps to explain why these people may have lived longer and stayed out of the hospital,' Dr Schneider explained. 'One of the reasons was that they had lower blood pressure in the Transcendental Meditation group. This replicated other studies [in the past] on Transcendental Meditation and high blood pressure, but for the first time it showed that these reductions in blood pressure were associated with reduced heart attacks, so there is an association which suggests causality.'
Dr Schneider continued to highlight the major findings of the study.
'The meditation group also had reduced psychological stress, particularly anger, which is related to Type A behaviour—which was one of the original psychological factors associated with heart disease. Again, we found significant reductions in that anger/stress factor in the Transcendental Meditation group.
'Finally, a very big finding,' Dr Schneider said. 'In medicine they call it dose-response relationship.* The bigger your dose—or the more regular your dose of Transcendental Meditation—the greater the effect. We found that there was a correlation between how regularly subjects practised Transcendental Meditation and their results.'
See previous articles in this series:
∙ NIH-sponsored study finds Transcendental Meditation dramatically reduces death in heart disease patients
∙ Substantial support for research on Transcendental Meditation and heart disease: Maharishi University of Management
∙ What is heart disease and how can we reverse it? Lead author of new meditation study explains
∙ Rigorous methods characterize new study on Transcendental Meditation and heart disease
* This term is often used in the context of toxicology; Dr Schneider was using it to characterize beneficial effects of Transcendental Meditation.
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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